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17 December 2015 09:22
Getting stuck in motorway roadworks can result in flights being missed
Holidaymakers heading off towards ports and airports for a Christmas getaway abroad can look forward to their journeys being free of hold-ups caused by roadworks.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin says Highways England will finish or suspend work on nearly 150 improvement projects - covering about 400 miles' worth of roadworks - by 6am on December 23.
And that should ease the minds of holidaymakers who already have to think about things like which travel insurance policy, hotel and flight they should buy.
It is estimated that the move should ensure that all but 2% of routes will be completely roadwork-free.
Mr McLoughlin says the annual open road scheme is designed to help ensure people's journeys over the holiday period are free from delays caused by roadworks.
He said although roads cannot be improved without engineering work, he appreciates the frustration that mile after mile of coned-off routes can cause for motorists, particularly during the holiday season.
The transport secretary says Highways England will use common sense to ensure that disruption is minimised for the millions of families who will be using the nation's roads over the Christmas and New Year period.
Work at 106 sites - covering 275 miles of road - is set to be completed by 6am on the day before Christmas Eve.
Work and restrictions at 39 other locations, covering a further 121 miles, meanwhile, are to be suspended between then and midnight on January 2.
Melanie Clarke, the director of customer operations at Highways England, says roadworks will be cleared from most of England's motorways and major A-roads in time for Christmas.
She says more lanes will be open to traffic while speed restrictions associated with various roadworks are to be lifted, making it less likely that motorists will suffer frustrating delays.
Up to date traffic and travel information can be found on the Winter Highways page on Facebook as well as on the metoffice.gov.uk/winterhighways and highways.gov.uk/traffic websites.
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